Othello’s Error: Why Targets Take the Blame

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) on engraving from the 1800s. English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language. Published in London by L.Tallis.

Othello’s Error often happens in police interrogation rooms and principal’s offices.

It comes from Shakespeare’s play, “Othello.”  In the play, the main character, Othello, assumes that his wife, Desdemona, is having an affair. The reason he believes this is because of her nervous response when he questions her.

In reality, Desdemona is innocent.

However, Othello  questions her in a aggressive and volatile manner. And this makes the poor wife nervous. Even worse, Othello takes her nervousness as a sign of guilt.

Sadly, his often occurs in real life.

many fingers pointed at scapegoated employee, concept of accusation

Often, targets become nervous when someone questions them aggressively. The questioner then misreads the response. taking it as a sign that the person is lying or hiding something. It’s how so many people have gotten blamed for something they didn’t do.

Just as nervousness is mistaken for deception, the show of confidence is mistaken for honesty and trustworthiness. As we all know, bullies are well-known for feigned confidence and false bravado.

Targets of bullying are always nervous, and rightfully so. Who wouldn’t be if they were constantly abused, smeared, shamed, threatened, and attacked?

Victim Blaming word cloud

People tend to rush to the first possible explanation that fits what they want to see. Should it be any wonder why people blame targets and let bullies go scot-free?

After the abuse goes on for so long, targets learn to expect more of the same. And they usually get it. In other words, the expectation of such treatment brings more of the same. As a result, the target grows more nervous with each occurrence.

As the target grows more nervous, bystanders and authorities grow more and more suspicious of him.

The fact is that nervousness has several reasons, and the mistake often occurs in the decoding of it and not the observation!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Why Bullies Sometimes Call You “Uppity”

Snobby group of cliquey girls with their ringleader pointing at you

Ever wonder why bullies sometimes call you “uppity?”

First, let’s examine the word, “uppity.” Uppity means arrogant, haughty, or pompous. It’s used to describe a person who thinks they are better than everyone else. However, a bully may label you “uppity, even though it isn’t who you are.

Understand that a bully’s definition of the word goes much deeper. You must look at the context in which the term is being used. Also, look at the circumstances which prompted the bully to make such a judgement of you. What would motivate a bully to refer to you as “uppity?”

Here are 3 reasons why bullies often accuse targets of being uppity:

Woman screaming and pointing an accusing finger at you

  1. The target displays confidence.

Confidence is power. When a person is confident and knows who they are, they’re least likely to allow others to control them. This is a huge threat to the bully’s power. Therefore, bullies will give targets the “uppity” label in hopes that the target will question themselves or worse, believe it, then feel guilty for it.

If the target falls for this BS and believes it, he will automatically “tone it down.” Consequently, he will unwittingly give the bullies the green light to gradually heap on more and more abuse.

Remember that a bully’s opinion of you means nothing unless you allow it to. Never buy into it! Keep your confidence no matter what!

Marginalized man putting out hands to block the fingers that are pointed at him

  1. The target refuses to comply with the bullies’ demands.

 Defiance is a huge threat to the bullies’ power. When a target refuses to comply with the bullies’ demands, mandates, or orders, he, in essence, gives the bully the middle finger. Then, he goes on doing what he wants and not what the bullies want him to do.

Ouch! This is painful to bullies. Why? Because, if the target doesn’t comply, then others just might feel emboldened not to comply. Defiance has a way of spreading and, once it spreads, the bully loses power. Bullies know this and, therefore, double down by labelling the target as uppity (among other labels).

Kids fighting with the quote, "Never fight until you have to. But when it's time to fight, you fight like you're the third monkey on the ramp to Noah's Ark... and brother, it's startin' to rain."

  1. The target defends himself.

When the target stands up for himself, this is also a threat to the bullies’ power. Why? Because the target just might put them in their place and make them look like punks. Therefore, the target takes back his power, leaving the bullies looking slack jawed and stupid. As a result, some bullies will retaliate to reinforce their dominance.

Therefore, you must keep your power. Resist the urge to comply. Push back when bullies attempt to abuse you. They may retaliate, but in you dig your heels in and continue to stand your ground, you keep your personal power, and with it, your self-esteem.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

What is That Coveted Je Ne Sais Quoi?

Charming older woman smiling

What is that Coveted je ne sais quoi? Je Ne Sais Quoi is French, and it means, “I don’t know what.” The term is used to describe a special but indescribable characteristic that someone has – a characteristic that is hard to name. It’s that unnamable characteristic that attracts people, especially suitors, and puts them under the person’s spell.

When someone has a certain je ne sais quoi, people will usually say things like, “There’s just something about him/her.” Someone who falls in love will often use that phrase when those outside the relationship can’t understand what the love-stricken individual sees in the person they’re in love with.

Some people were born with this mysterious allure and come by it naturally. These lucky people seem to attract people easily and effortlessly. Others, like most bullying targets, were not blessed with it and have great difficulty making friends. Shy people and those on the autism spectrum tend to have the most difficulty in this arena.

can this je ne sais quoi be taught?

Businessman schmoozing colleagues at a social gathering

Therefore, if you’re a target of bullying and you’re having difficulty making friends or finding love, the secret to getting that je ne sais quoi is to understand exactly what it is. Thankfully, it is something you can learn, and, once you learn it, you can use it to your advantage.

So, what is it exactly?

Simple. It’s social intelligence, which is a combination of confidence, charm, and charisma, or The Three C’s. The most precious thing in the universe isn’t money. It isn’t gold or silver. It’s these three traits because they set you on a path of success in every aspect of your life. However, to have the three C’s, you must first have healthy self-esteem.

Sadly, many targets of bullying don’t realize this. They want these traits so badly but don’t have the self-esteem to back them up.

As a result, they live a lonely and unsuccessful life. They secretly resent those who have that je ne sais quoi as they sit on the sidelines and watch them have a blessed life. Also, they may resent God for not blessing them with it, which only makes things worse.

man with confidence

Healthy Self-Esteem always comes before je ne sais quoi

Moreover, when a young target asks an adult how to learn that certain something that attracts people, the adult may only laugh them off and tell them,

“That’s something that can’t be taught. It’s something you’re born with. You either have it or you don’t. And if you don’t, you’re just shit out of luck.”

Adults give them those types of hurtful responses because either they themselves don’t know, or they do know but would never tell them for obvious reasons. Consequently, young targets believe the lies and stop trying – at everything. They stop trying to make friends and move up in the world.

The resulting mentality becomes this: “Why do all that work if it isn’t going to get me anywhere? I’d only be spinning my wheels and getting nowhere.”

As a result, these people accumulate long strings of failed friendships and relationships and jump from job to job. Also, they run around with ne’er do wells. In short, they relax their standards and become content to cruise through life without extending any effort. Many targets end up on welfare and public housing and it’s because their self-esteem is shot to hell.

man holding a card that reads, "Low Self-Esteem"

Therefore, I often stress doing everything you can to salvage your self-esteem because, again, in order to have charm and charisma, you must first have a healthy self-esteem. Thankfully, you can also learn this. I repeat, no matter what others have told you, social intelligence can be taught and you can go from anti-social to social ninja in just a few years.

Here are a few things you can do to raise your self-esteem and with it, your je ne sais quoi:
  1. Smile! And by smile, I mean do it authentically. A real, genuine smile is one complete with the crinkles around the outer corners of the eyes. If there are no crinkles around the eyes, the smile is fake.
  2. When you’re talking to a person, say their name. According to Dale Carnegie’s book, entitled, “How to Make Friends and Influence People,” a person’s name is music to their ears. Saying their name when you speak to them just makes them feel that having a conversation with you is all the better.
  3. Engage in small talk. Never talk about anything deep. Great small talk conversations discuss topics such as the weather, sports, movies, music, and current events (just don’t go to deep on the current events).
  4. Realize that it’s not about you. One thing I want you to know right now. People care more about themselves and their lives than they do about you. It’s just the reality of human nature. Therefore, become interested in other people and their lives. People always love someone who’s interested in them.

Confident man reach out to shake your hand

Start with doing the above practices and don’t be afraid to learn new tricks. And realize that you will probably need to fake it, at first- fake it until you make it! It’s what I had to do. However, I discovered that when you act confident, you will soon feel confident. And when you feel confident, the fake becomes real.

Practice these things and you will soon be able to raise your je ne sais quoi and draw people to you. And once you do that, you might even be able to schmooze like a pro!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Be Careful What You Put Up With

Quote, "I deserve the best in life."

It’s best to begin standing up for yourself in the early stages or you’ll come across as a doormat to others. You will teach them how to treat you based on what they see. Sadly, many targets of bullying do not realize this until the bullying gets so out of control that their lives are in danger. By then, it’s usually too late to change anything and the only option left is for target to remove him/herself from the environment.

Furthermore, bullying always escalates and the more you ignore it, deny it, and tolerate it, the more emboldened, brazen, and full of themselves the bullies become until they become drunk on their own power. As a result, the abuse will get out of control and you’re most likely to end of getting severely hurt or worse.

Quote, "Be good to yourself today."

bullying is addictive because its all about power.

Bullying is like a drug. As we know, it takes one smoke, one drink, or one snort or two for a person to become hooked. Afterwards, they always want more. Likewise, it’s the same with bullying. All it takes is one backhanded compliment, one offhand comment, or one insult or two to get the target to react.  When the bullies get the reaction they want, they get that initial power high. Then, they always come back for more.

Also, drug addicts slowly build a tolerance to the drug, and, as time goes on, they need a bigger dose. First, they need one milligram, then two, then four, then eight, and on it goes. It’s no different with bullies. Just as it is with drug addicts with their drugs, bullies escalate the bullying, then escalate it further to keep getting that rush of power.

Quote, "Be real, be true, be yourself."

Bullying only escalates because, with time, bullies need bigger and bigger doses of power.

First, they start with offhand comments, backhanded compliments, and petty insults. Also, they may smear you to others and give you the silent treatment. When these lose their thrill, they escalate to yelling, cursing, and severe name-calling. Therefore, the verbal assaults become more blatant and hurtful.

Next, when blatant verbal abuse loses its luster, the bullying progresses to borderline physical abuse. Bullies will (accidentally on purpose) trip the target, lightly shove him, or run into him in the hallway.

Later, when bullies can no longer get their power rush from light physical bullying, they take it up, yet, another notch. They’ll progress to more obvious physical beatings- slapping, punching, choking, kicking, etc.

Once they get bored with this, they’ll begin using weapons. Bullies will hit with textbooks, slam heads against lockers or the sides of vehicles. Afterwards, they’ll use sticks, bottles, pipes, baseball bats, and so on.

Quote, "A lack of boundaries invites a lack of respect."

boundaries, respect yourself

So, understand that bullying and abuse always- always…escalates! In other words, it always gets worse and more severe. It also becomes more frequent!

The best time to stand up to bullying is during its earliest stages.

I’ve said it before, bullying is best countered and quashed in the earliest stages of it. The best time to stand up for yourself is during the “testing phrase”- when bullies are testing you to see what how you will react and what you’ll allow them to get away with.

You must stand up to bullies and abusers before they’ve had time to grow accustomed to abusing you.

Treat yourself better by not allowing others to abuse you, because how you treat yourself shows in how you allow others to treat you. Remember that you deserve better and you don’t have to put up with abuse from anyone.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Home Health Aids Bullied By Client’s Family

Younger man visiting older man in a hospital or elder care facility

Millions of home health care aides report bullying by their client’s families and sometimes the client themselves. I worked in healthcare for 11 years and I have certainly had it happen to me. But I was lucky. I was in a position where I would drop the client’s case and walk away. However, many home health aides feel trapped in hostile environments and aren’t in a position to get out.
Moreover, I know a home health worker who cared for a client six hours per day. She worked four days a week and the elderly client was satisfied with the help she give her. Yet the client’s family totally screwed everything up for her (the client). And the worker had no choice but to drop the client in her refusal to deal with the family.
I’ll call this worker, Shelly. And we’ll call the client, Mrs. Shayes.
Here’s what she had to say when she told me her story:
Younger hands holding elderly hands in support
“I truly feel bad for my former client, Mrs. Shayes (not the client’s real name). Her family bullied good care workers and I truly felt bad for her. But I had to put my own health first and walk because these people were bordering on dangerous. I was the ninth worker this poor lady had in the span of only a year. So, that, in itself, spoke volumes.
When I first began working for and taking care of Mrs. Shayes, I noticed several red flags. The family members would talk such trash about the last health care worker who took care of her. Yet they put me on a pedestal because I did my job and was dedicated to my client.  Although, this made me suspicious and leery of these people, I continued to do my job. I showed up every morning and did what I needed to do to meet her needs.
An Unsanitary house
Eww!! Concept of disgust
The client lived in a house with six healthy adults, including two who were freeloaders. Two babies also lived there. The place was so filthy, it looked like a hog pin. Some mornings, I would arrive to see a dirty diaper or two lying in the dinner table- seriously! A dookie diaper! On the kitchen table! Where people eat!
Furthermore, When I went to do Mrs. Shayes’ laundry, I would go into the laundry room and wade through two feet of wall-to-wall dirty and smelly clothes to get to the washer and dryer. The living room and hallway floors were also spotted with dog and cat pee/poop and the stench was enough to make you gag!
It was disgusting- so disgusting that flies and gnats were buzzing everywhere. In short, the place was a real sh*thole! These people were nasty!
female home health care aide assisting an elderly male client
Poor Mrs. Shayes and two toddlers lived in this! It just goes to show what pigs her family were. And I know I shouldn’t say these things, but these people definitely shouldn’t be allowed to have children or a helpless elderly woman in their care. Because, I kid you not, these people lived live cockroaches.
I say cockroaches because animals lived better than this.
A toxic family and work environment
Also, I would personally witness them yell and curse Mrs. Shayes on a regular basis and it would absolutely infuriate me to no end. It takes the lowest kind of lowlife to abuse an elderly and disabled person. It occurred to me that they did this as a way to control her.
man with many faces
Words cannot describe what rotten maggot ridden garbage I worked around. Not only did I fear for this lady, I also feared for my own health as well. You just knew that house was a breeding ground for bad bacteria.
Additionally, when I informed the company after work, they informed me that they had contacted the state and an ombudsman on numerous occasions.
This family was so dysfunctional that they would even curse each other out and get into fights and screaming matches. I can tell you why I stayed. I continued to work in that kind of environment because I worried for the client. But, in the back of my mind, I knew that it was only a matter of time before they would come for me.
And sure enough, they did.
The company I worked for set it up that each morning I arrived, I was to call in from one of the family member’s cellphones. It was  how I reported that I’d arrived at the client’s residence to start my shift. Everyone in the family were night owls so they often slept until about 1-2pm. So, most days, I would wake one of them up in order to use a cellphone to call in.
A ground of wooden men with several arrows pointing to a single blue man, mobbing concept
However, When I woke the 21 year old grandson to use his phone, he shouted at me and threw the phone at me because I’d awakened him.
Later that day, I called somewhat of a meeting with the family and attempted to resolve the problem. I asked if someone could leave their phone sitting in the kitchen where I could call in without waking one of them. That’s when Mrs. Shayes, granddaughter’s boyfriend, who lived with them at the time, blew up and approached me like he was going to physically attack me. Talk about a house full of wolves!
under threat of physical attack
As such, I demanded in a stern voice that he ‘get away from me, now!’ But he kept inching his way closer. That’s when I was done. No way was I going to allow these lowlifes to abuse and talk down to me. I immediately called the company from my cellphone and told them that I was leaving, that these people were batshit crazy, and I never wanted to work at this residence again.
Skull and crossbones with the word, "Toxic" underneath
So, I “fired” them! It was good riddance to bad rubbish. And when I walked away from these people, my company understood because, as I said before, I had been the ninth worker they’d sent to the residence. Therefore, they didn’t terminate me. They’d just gotten a new client and they sent me there minutes after I left “the wolves den.”
However, the sad thing is that in abusing their loved one’s health aid, they made it difficult for Mrs. Shayes to keep good workers to take care of her. So, I believe that she was the one who suffered the most from this.
God opened an even bigger and better door for me! I had the good sense and courage to walk away and got a better client, so I ended up winning. Yay me! Just say no to drama!
a family investigated by the state
From what someone told me later, the state continued to investigate these people. I don’t know what came of Mrs. Shayes but I can only hope and pray that the state removed her from the home and placed her in a clean environment with caring people where she could be safe and live out her golden years in peace…”
Sign that reads, "Contaminated Area"
I feel for Shelly, but even more, I feel for the lady who lived under such conditions and, like Shelly, who obviously hated to leave because she felt as if she was leaving her client to be abused, I hope the lady ended up in a more wholesome environment.
Also,  I’m proud of Shelly for putting her safety first and escaping such a toxic family. Know that home healthcare workers do a thankless job and they’re often the objects of bullying either by the client, or their families. And most often, it is the families of the clients who abuse these workers and I would advice any home health aid never to be afraid to walk out if these conditions arrive.
Shelly was lucky in that she had the support of the company she worked for. In most cases, however, most companies will side with the abusers. And, if that’s the case, than these companies do not deserve to have such dedicated workers under their employ.
Understand that when you work in someone else’s home, it puts you at the mercy of not only the client, but also their families.
With knowledge comes empowerment!

18 Ways of Adult Survivors of School Bullying

Brain inside stomach to represent the gut instinct

Targets of school bullying often learn tough lessons- lessons that they carry into adulthood. Bullying shapes their personalities, and the ways they do things once they leave school and move away from their tormentors. Because I’m an adult survivor myself, I can tell you what I and most other survivors took from it. School bullying changes targets. It changes the ways they do things and their attitudes, and the way they handle people because, again, it teaches them many hard lessons, which they carry into adulthood. Here are the 18 ways of adult survivors of school bullying:

1. ADult Survivors of school bullying Watch other People Closely.

Their experiences with bullies during school sharpened their emotional and social intelligence -Because they learned very early on how truly evil people can be, they know how to watch people without looking like they’re watching them. Adult survivors of bullying note body language, facial expressions, micro-expressions, tonality, delivery, and demeanor. Their people-sense wasn’t fully developed during school years. Therefore, they often let those in their lives who were only there to do harm and paid dearly for it. Therefore, as adults, former targets watch closely and avoid such people.

Saying no means saying yes to your rights

2. They don’t fear saying “no” and will sometimes say it simply because they can!

When they were schoolkids, bullies violated their boundaries to such an extent that they (the bullies) silenced them and never allowed protest when something didn’t feel right. People either duped or forced the targets to take a lot of abuse. Now that they’re adults, they get to decide what they will and will not tolerate. Adult survivors of school bullying exercise that freedom and autonomy every chance they get! Moreover, they get a feeling of empowerment from saying no.

3. they are no-nonsense adults.

They’ve learned early on the games people play, and you won’t dupe them easily. Adult survivors of school bullying  live by the old, “fool me once…” saying and hold it close to their hearts.

positive bullied victim says NO

4. they’ve a very open and solid refusal to take any crap from anyone, no matter the consequences they may face for that refusal.

I’m no exception. Former targets of school bullying took enough crap in school from classmates and a few rotten apples, who called themselves school staff that they’ve become even more determined as adults not to let others violate their boundaries.

5. they don’t give people many chances. To them, first impressions are important, so you’d better make it count.

One red flag, I’m gone!
One bad vibe, goodbye!
Any attempts to bullshit, see ya!

This is due to having been too forgiving of others when these former targets were young. Others took them for granted and mistook their kindness taken for weakness. They then exploited that kindness, much to the targets’ humiliation. And adult survivors refuse ever again to be put back in that position.

girl walking away from fake friends

6. adult survivors work their asses off! they’re tenacious when it comes to getting what they want and will stop at almost nothing to reach success.

Adult survivors of school bullying had enough of what they didn’t want while in school. Others called them “failures” so many times that it lit a fire under them. It made them that much more determined to succeed at everything they set out to do, if for no other reason than to show the haters and naysayers (even our ex-school bullies) that they can! Show them up and shut them up is another motto of the former target of school bullying.

7. they like having control over their own lives and will do anything to keep that control.

Survivors of school bullying had enough of others taking control of their lives long ago, and they will shut down the first person who tries to take away their personal power.

8. they can spot a bully five miles away in the dark.

Yes! Adult survivors are that good! For years, they dealt with bullies in school on a daily basis. They know the signs by heart. So, naturally, they would be good, nearly expert, at pointing them out.

Businessman with X-ray vision


9. As adults, they either avoid bullies like the plague, or, they take extreme pleasure in putting bullies in their places.

Adult survivors of school bullying looove standing up to bullies and they will call them out every chance they get. They love to make bullies feel like the losers they are. Adult survivors do this, remembering all the times they didn’t or couldn’t defend themselves in school.

10. they have thick skins that has become difficult for others outside their circle, to penetrate.

That’s the power of the former target of bullying. They love being unpredictable and keeping others on their toes to try and figure them out. It’s fun to them.

11. they can’t stand to watch others being made fun of and will rush to their defense.

Former targets of school bullying are not afraid to get nose to nose with a bully if need be. They do it not only to help the person being bullied but subconsciously, to make up for all the times they felt helpless. This compensates them for all the times they didn’t or couldn’t defend themselves against their bullies in school.

Two men and a woman getting kicked out

12. adult survivors of school bullying can smell horseshit like a bloodhound.

If someone tries to feed them a load of hogwash, they know it instantly and instinctively. Adult survivors see it as an insult to their intelligence and become highly PO’ed. Why? Because they know the lying person must think they’re too stupid to figure them out. And they won’t hesitate to call the person out!

13. They can More easily pick up on the emotions of others.

They cannot stand the thought of causing emotional or physical harm to another person, but only if that person isn’t trying to harm them first.

14. they place extra value on their families and friends.

Adult survivors of school bullying take extreme care not to take those they love for granted. They know what it’s like to be completely alone and not to have any friends. Therefore, they cherish family/friends and time spent with them.

Sky writing that reads, "Actions speak louder than words."

15. Adult survivors of school bullying are, in some ways, selfish.

I know I am. Former targets put a lot of value on themselves and their wants, needs, and interests- all because others didn’t value them as kids during school. So, they make it a point to put themselves first in almost everything. Their children and parents may be the only people they put ahead of them.

16. Words don’t convince them. Only actions and patterns do.

Back in the day, others duped them. Adult survivors of school bullying heard a mountain of empty promises and cheap words and paid dearly for believing them. They’ll be damned if they ever repeat that mistake.

Speech bubble that reads, "Get out!"

17. they live by our gut instincts-

Even better, adult survivors trust them because they paid a heavy price for ignoring them. They now have a sixth sense. Adult survivors of school bullying are excellent at picking up vibes (especially bad ones) and reading people and their intentions. If something or someone doesn’t feel right, they won’t hesitate to either walk away or tell the suspicious person to take a long walk off a short pier.

18. Tell them they Can’t and the adult survivor of school bullying will do it anyway.

And they’ll do it just to show you they can. Tell them not to do something and they’ll do it and take pictures. When another person tells them that they can’t do something, anything, the adult survivor will see it as a challenge. And they’ll do it anyway, sometimes right in front of you, just to show you up.

Speaking for myself, being bullied as a kid in school has not only made me a very powerful adult; it has also exponentially sharpened my people-senses, which in turn has afforded me not only scores of friends who love and respect me, successes, and even more opportunities, but ultimately, an enriching life!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Bullied Kids Embracing the Suck

Embracing The Suck

Life circumstances can sometimes trap young targets of bullying in a school that hates them. It’s easier to get out of a toxic environment when you’re an adult target bullied at work. you can transfer, and if you can’t transfer, you can always quit. However, when you’re a minor, it’s almost impossible. What if your family cannot afford to move to a new school district? Also, what if your parents refuse to move or to transfer you? What if your parents can’t afford to home-school you?

There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a toxic environment and in a horrible situation. When everyone in the school is bullying you and there’s no way of escaping it, it’s the feeling of entrapment! Just imagine finding yourself in this situation and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it! You can’t get away from it! You’re just stuck there!

So, What Do You Do?

You embrace the suck. Embracing the suck means that you just grin and bear it. You just accept the god-awful, crappy mess that plagues your life because there’s no other choice. In other words, you’re just plain screwed and there’s no way out of it. You decide to live with it and  make peace with the possibility that things may not get any better. And yes, it sucks!

Sadly, targeted kids are stuck in schools with a toxic culture of bullying. Other classmates attack these kids daily. They attack them psychologically and physically. Teachers and principals view these children unfavorably because bullies have them convinced that the targets are the instigators. Therefore, school staff are constantly watching these young targets, waiting for a reason to drag them into the principal’s office.

These kids suffer from plummeting grades and poor school performance because circumstances force them to live in survival mode. Why? Because preparing for a hostile learning environment takes priority over studying and learning. Therefore, school staff see them as lazy and hopeless and refuse to give them the extra help they need.

Gee! That’s an awful lot of suck!

And how much suck can one child deal with?

Understand that if you’re a child dealing with these types of circumstance, you don’t have to just “embrace the suck.” There’s always School Choice. Nowadays, families can apply for vouchers that allow them to transfer their child to a new school. These vouchers have saved countless targets from years of toxicity. Also, there are other things you can do if, by chance, School Choice isn’t an option where you live:

  • document the bullying and have your parent or legal guardian help you with your documentation.
  • Also, depending on the jurisdiction you live in, hide a body cam or digital device in your backpack or on your person.
  • Thirdly, practice self-care.

And keep the faith. School Choice may not be available in your area now but it doesn’t mean it won’t be later.

You are not completely powerless. Do the above three things because they are the things you have control over. When you document and record the bullying, and practice self-care, not only is it probable that you’ll change the dynamic, but you’ll feel so much better about yourself. You will also feel that you have, at least, some control.

With knowledge comes empowerment!